Direct Marketing – New Move-In Lists Work Well For Doctors and Professionals

I just ran into one of my cousins at our local bagel shop (breakfast is the best time and place to meet people and get some early morning work done). He’s a podiatrist (foot doctor) and tells me the best, most effective method he’s used so far to reach new potential patients is through direct mail.

He goes after a specific market segment — people who have recently moved into his area. These people haven’t set up a doctor-patient relationship yet. So he figures (rightly so) that new move-ins are the best prospects for a podiatrist. He’s also interested in runners and older patients — both have their own unique needs. But his best source of business still comes from new movers.

Thinking this over, I contacted some other doctors in my area and found that when a practice serves a general clientèle rather than one specific specialty, people new to an area are good prospects as new patients. There was a tendency, however, to favor new homeowners over people in apartments. This was especially true for dentists who need to develop a several-year relationship to offer effective care and, to put it bluntly, make some money from a stable patient base.

Fortunately, these lists are all available, and even selectable by age, income, and, if it’s important to your marketing, a presence of children in the household. Cost for this type of list average less than a quarter per name, and much less in large quantities.

Another possibility, but one that is usually too expensive for small offices, is the phone company’s phone book ride-along program (check with your local phone company for availability). Whenever a new phone is installed in a home, the phone company delivers a new set of phone books, wrapped in plastic or placed in a mailing bag.

Costs are reasonable (usually less than the cost of renting your own list) but you generally have to commit to a minimum 10,000 delivery or more in your area, and you have to cover the entire delivery area. If you’re only trying to reach a small area — such as one or two zip codes — the phone book ride-along program is not for you. Renting a targeted list and mailing to them yourself makes much more sense.

Wayne Stoler is head of Letter Perfect Mailing Services, a company that handles mailings for over 2,000 companies. Letter Perfect also sells mailing lists, and specializes in small to medium size mailings. Wayne’s clients keep coming back because he has years of experience in getting mailers read, and even more years in dealing with postal regulations. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] or call him directly at 800.397.8973.